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The Digital Supply Chain Was Front and Center at NRF 2019

The Digital Supply Chain Was Front and Center at NRF 2019

January 30, 2019

NRF, the National Retail Federation’s annual extravaganza in New York, is called Retail’s Big Show for a reason. With over 38,000 attendees and 800 exhibitors, 2019 once again broke attendance records as retailers from around the world descended upon the Javits Center. NRF is an unparalleled opportunity for retailers to set a vision for the new year, connect with partners that will help transform their business and take advantage of the ultimate networking experience. 

NGC’s booth at NRF was packed with customers and prospects throughout the three-day event. We had literally hundreds of conversations with retailers and brands, and consistent themes emerged with everyone we talked to: retailers recognize the need for digital supply chain transformation, they’re ready to get started and they’re eager to embrace solutions like NGC’s Andromeda. 

Here are three of our key takeaways from Retail’s Big Show. 

Retailers are ready to embrace digital supply chain platforms

As retailer after retailer approached our booth, their stories were similar. Siloed applications don’t cut it anymore, lead time reduction is a strategic imperative, and retailers can’t afford to waste time on a multi-year software implementation. Fashion brands and retailers are under an immense amount of pressure to keep up with constantly changing demand signals and make quick, data-driven decisions to align supply and demand. There’s a critical need to orchestrate all supply chain applications and processes in a single digital platform, and retailers and brands view digital supply chains as the key to overcoming business silos and transforming their supply chain operations. 

If It Isn’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

Another recurring message from event participants we spoke with was that they wanted to avoid replacing legacy applications already in use. The old adage, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” rings true. Rather than ripping and replacing legacy systems, retailers consistently said they desired to keep existing applications if they’re “good enough,” and make them part of a connected digital platform that provides a single version of the truth across the organization. Cloud platforms are key to this, as is the need to move quickly -- retailers and brands are looking for results now. 

The AI revolution is here

Artificial Intelligence is clearly making its mark on retail. One NRF session was titled, “The artificial intelligence revolution is here,” and multiple vendors touted their AI capabilities.  AI’s impact can be felt across the supply chain too. At the NGC booth, retailers were keenly interested in the growing role of AI in our supply chain solution roadmap. AI will be essential in the development of autonomous supply chain solutions that can automate routine decision-making and greatly improve the efficiency and speed of supply chain operations. 

NGC’s Andromeda Cloud Platform is the solution retailers are seeking

NRF was exhilarating, exhausting and rewarding. NGC captured the attention of some of the industry’s biggest brands and retailers, and 2019 promises to be a pivotal year for our industry. As talk of a retail apocalypse comes to an end, retailers are searching for ways to capitalize on demand and deliver according to customers’ expectations. NGC is proud to help support the business transformation of so many customers and looks forward to many new ones in 2019. For more information about NGC’s Digital Supply Chain solutions and the Andromeda Cloud Platform, click here.